The ocean is so vast and deep, and you can’t really take in the beauty of it all at once. Marine researcher Nana Hauser made it her mission in life to learn more about the creatures living under the sea, especially whales. She regularly dives underwater to study these whales closely, but one day she had a really close encounter indeed.

A hungry shark was on the prowl nearby. Nancy knew she shouldn’t panic and should act fast, but her team was on a boat and she was quite far from them. Just when all hope seemed lost, a giant creature came to her rescue. Thankfully, she was also able to capture this incredible footage as the giant humpback whale swam protectively near her when a huge tiger shark lurked nearby.

The whale kept pushing her near the surface of the water, and never strayed from her side. The biologist believes that whales have this instinct to protect other species as well. They might be huge—the biggest mammals in the world—but they are amazingly gentle as well. This dive took place off Muri Beach in the Cook Islands. The 63-year-old researcher must have been out of words after having such an amazing encounter with the subjects of her study!

Check out this amazing video below:

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